Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Liver 101

My latest and greatest study topic has been on the liver. As I delve into the mysteries of this most important organ in our human bodies, I am at awe at how it is rarely discussed. If our bodies were automobiles, the liver would be the engine. How then, pray tell, when we show up to a Dr. , sick, does he not say, "Hmmmmm, let's take a look at your liver!" No, they just want to give a new , medicinal fix to cover up what truly is going on. Part of the reason is that most of us don't really want to know how to fix ourselves. We would rather take a magic pill. Problem; it is not a cure and most often it is an accomplice to a further problem.

Let us all take a look see at what the liver really is. First off the liver is the most important organ in the body. It performs over 400 jobs in our systems. It is a so called living filter that cleans the system and keeps everything running as designed. To name a few of the most important functions the liver is responsible for are:

Storing of vitamins, sugars and iron for energy
Production and removal of cholesterol
Cleans out the waste from toxins, drugs and poisons
Produces immune factors and removes bacteria
Produces bile to digest and absorb food
Makes clotting factors possible so we won't bleed to death
Metabolizes proteins
Controls hormonal balance

As you can see, we need our liver. If you loose your liver, you have 1-2 days to live. If your liver is clogged up or damaged due to the way we treat our body, everything suffers. We get sick, we get fat, we get hormonal, we can't digest what nutrients we may be eating and we can't protect ourselves from our environment.

How do you know if your liver is due for a overhaul? Well, we all need to cleanse our liver on a regular basis, which I will talk about, but the main symptoms of liver problems are:

Weight gain, especially around the belly
abdominal bloating
high blood pressure
elevated cholesterol
mood swings
skin rashes

There are many things that contribute to an abused liver; the toxic world we live in, caffeine, sugar, trans fats, yeast problems, medicines, lack of fiber , to name a few.

The good news is that the liver can rebuild itself. It can be cleansed. You will notice a difference. There is nothing you can do to control your weight as important as keeping your liver healthy. This is where you should start.

How? First off, get rid of the junk. Stop drinking caffeine. Eat more fiber. Those are the obvious. Next, start a cleanse. You can check out the book called "The Fat Flush Plan" if you want to research a little more and even learn about an intense cleanse but the basics are easy to do. I do this cleanse on a regular basis and can swear by the results. If you want to loose weight with it as well, check out the book at stick to their diet, it is one of the few diets I would recommend. But here is how I do it:

First thing in the morning, the liver cleanse. Two ways you can do this:
1. 8 oz hot water with juice of 1/2 lemon or
2. 1 T. lemon juice in 2 oz water with 1 drop lemon oil and 1 drop peppermint oil (good quality essential oils only.)
**Make sure that you take this 2 hours before any prescriptions or it may lessen the effect of the drug

Second step: Cranberry water and psyllium husk
Do this twice daily, before breakfast. 1 oz pure organic, unsweetened cranberry juice (I use Knudsen's) in 7 oz water. Mix in 1 tsp psyllium husk which can be purchased at a health store ( I use Colon Pure brand). Mix just until dissolved and drink down. Drink before it gets too thick. Not too tasty.

Third step: Cranberry water
First thing in the morning mix 8 OZ of cranberry juice with 56 oz of water. Drink this throughout the day. You want this all gone. Yes, you will be using the potty , a lot. That's good. We could be spending a whole day talking about why you should be using the potty more. Basic message, you need to be pooping at least once daily.

Do this for two weeks. Try to incorporate eggs daily which help the liver. Stay away from fats as much as possible but try to incorporate good oils like Flax Seed oil, 1 T. daily. Take walks or jog. This will help stimulate the lymphatic system. It will help things work their way out. You may feel a bit sick at first while the body is cleansing. That is a good thing. The sicker you are the more toxic you are. Keep it up. I recommend doing this at least 4 times a year.

Try to stick to a higher vegetarian diet as you do this. After researching the liver more fully in addition to reading and studying the Word of Wisdom (Our LDS doctrine given to us by the prophet Joseph Smith by the Lord concerning our temporal health) I am a firm believer that we all could do much better by going on a mostly vegetarian diet. The world is even figuring this out. Many studies are now reporting that those who eat more meat have a higher chance of colon cancer among other diseases. Meat is very hard on the liver. It overworks it and doesn't allow it to work at it's potential. Notice how you feel after you eat a big meat meal. Heavy, sluggish, bloated. I have decided to eliminate meat as much as possible and feel much better. I am sticking with eggs, beans, whole grains and nuts as my source of protein. Try it out and see how you feel. If we all paid attention to what our bodies were telling us, we would avoid so many future illnesses.

If we fail to take care of ourselves, if we fail to do the proper maintenance needed and do not respect our bodies, we will reap the results. We will be sick, we will be fatigued, we may die. We are on this earth to become better people; to serve, to learn, to grow. If we are sick, we are greatly limiting that potential and we affect all those around us. It is important. Let us all do a little better by taking control of our lives. Contrary to what Obama and other leaders my think, WE are in control of our own health. WE cannot blame anyone else but ourselves.


Adrianne said...

Are there any suggestions for a liver cleanse that doesn't involve lemon? I am allergic to citrus.

Melissa said...

Something is definitely wrong with my liver!!!! I have cellulite all over! Hee Hee!

Shari Goodman said...

I would just do the cleanse minus the lemon juice. It will still be great but definitely use the flax oil with it.

Allison said...

I really like your blog and all of this info on the liver is great. However, I think that your statement that the liver is the most important organ in the body is not true at all. Your heart is the most important organ in your body. You couldn't cut half you heart out and donate it to someone else and have it grow back. I must respectfully disagree.

Shari Goodman said...

I understand your point completely but everything I have read talk about the liver as the most important organ in the body.The point made was not merely my opinion. I have given you one article above from Dr. OZ. We need all organs, they are all vitally important. However, the liver has over 400 jobs, the heart has a few basic jobs. I believe that is why the liver is labeled as the most important organ. We could also argue that the lungs are the most important as we would die without air or the kidneys as we would die without them. All in all, we need them, they all serve a purpose. The liver, however, serves more functions than all of them.

Clairissa said...

I've been *mostly* vegetarian for nearly 4 months now and notice a HUGE difference in how I feel. Also, I have lost weight without even trying. The bloating feelings are gone. I wish I had done that years ago.

By the way, I love your cookbook :) Thanks for keeping this blog updated. I'm always eager to see the newest nuggets of knowledge you have to share with us!

Clairissa said...

By the way, do you have any recommendations for online sources to purchase good quality essential oils? thx!

Shari Goodman said...

The oils I like are the Be Young essential oils. I will call them tomorrow because their web page isn't letting non members to see products. There are so many out there but I know this owner and trust him. I will get the info out asap. membership is free if you want to check it out at

Kara said...

At dinner last night over a Farmer's Sandwich and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad, I discussed with my husband my vegetarian-ish diet. Even a "meat and potatoes" guy can be eased into a diet where meat is used sparingly. I think you are spot on about the Word of Wisdom's guidence, but it is not only a temporal law, it is also very spiritual. It requires a strong testimony of the Word of Wisdom to be able to sift through all the garbage out there and come out on top.

I like the way the LDS Woman's Manual states "We should avoid anything that we know is harmful to our bodies. We should not use any substance that is habit forming. The Word of Wisdom does not tell us everything to avoid, but it does give us guidelines. It is a valuable temporal law. It is also a great spiritual law. By living the Word of Wisdom, we become stronger spiritually. We purify our bodies so the Spirit of the Lord can dwell with us."

I love my liver for doing so much good for me. The least I can do is be nice to it and help out where I can.

Shari Goodman said...

I agree, Kara. The Lord knows that our spiritual salvation is connected to our temporal well being. I wholeheartedly agree that the journey into living a healthier lifestyle is indeed a spiritual experience. Once you truly understand the sacredness of the body and respect that tremendous gift, the obvious of feeding that body right is an easier choice. It is a journey indeed and can't be done in one day! I am still not sprouting my flour like you but it will happen, I am sure, at one point. Thanks for all of your posts!

Jami Baker said...

Amen, I love what you have said about the liver. I was taught growing up that if I had a hard time getting out of bed in the mornings, I needed to do a liver cleanse. I always hated those, but I totally agree with the results. Also, I loved the last statement about Obama!! WELL SAID!!!

diane said...

Shari, I went looking for Colon Pure brand psyllium husk today at The Vitamin Shoppe (I was right by there), and of course they don't carry that brand. Which store do you buy yours?

2-Fold said...

Is the liver cleanse safe to during pregnancy? I have done it before I got pregnant and loved the way I felt afterwards, I would like to do this again but I am 13 weeks pregnant.

Shari Goodman said...

Peppermint can cause early contractions so that is the only concern but it is a small amount. Ask your Dr. first. The liver part is good, just double check on the peppermint. Milk Thistle is also great for a liver cleanse!